MRE meals for sale have caught on in the 21st-century. In this age of health and fitness, outdoor activities, such as hiking and camping, have grown in popularity. At the same time, we’ve seen a plethora of people interested in preparing for the future in the unfortunate event of a natural disaster. These people are called preppers, and they believe that you don’t wait for an emergency, such as a hurricane, earthquake, or some horrible world war to happen that would make grocery stores worthless and that would create lack of electricity and other things we take for granted. Preppers believe you prepare for it before it happens. These two groups of people are some of the major buyers of MRE meals for sale, otherwise known as Civilian Meals, Ready-to-Eat. They are also used by emergency personnel, hospitals, fire officials, law enforcement, and more.
What are MREs?
Meals, Ready-to-Eat are individual, self-contained meals in lightweight packaging. Unlike dehydrated or freeze-dried meals, the food inside retains its texture and flavor and does not need to be activated with water. MREs are packed in a type of retort pouch that keeps the content sterile and dry for an extended period.
Why Are Meals, Ready-to-Eat Unique?
Shelf-stable – When these kinds of meals, inside their packaging, are stored in a climate-controlled environment, such as on a shelf that does not experience extreme heat or extreme cold, they can last up to ten years, with the typical expiration date being five years. You can read more about shelf life here.
Water-proof – These meals are packed in retort packing that does not allow water to seep in.
Impact-resistant – MREs can withstand a high degree of force. For example, Military, Meals Ready-to-Eat are often dropped from helicopters to their intended receivers. Civilian Meals, Ready-To-Eat are designed to resist similar impact.
Insect-resistant – Insects cannot creep inside the retort pouches of MREs. Therefore, a person can store these meals without worry of insect infestation and damage.
Lightweight – These meals, in their individual pouches, are easy to carry around, such as in a backpack, because they are designed to be lightweight. Therefore, if you were hiking, for example, you could bring several of these meals in your pack, and they would not weight you down.
No refrigeration – MREs do not require refrigeration. They are meals that you can remove from a shelf, for example, and eat immediately.
No cooking – Meals, Read-to-Eat do not require cooking. If heating is desired, a flameless ration heater, designed exclusively for MREs, warms food in approximately five to 10 minutes with no electricity.
Contain a Full Day’s Worth of Vitamins and Minerals – A complete MRE contains all of the vitamins and minerals that a person needs and are typically 1000 to 1,200 calories.
The History of MREs
Meals Ready-to-Eat were invented for American soldiers. When soldiers are out in combat, they need a way to consume food without having to worry about acquiring it, storing it, keeping it from spoiling or cooking it. In the beginning, before MREs, there were primary ways for troops to consume food while out at battle. During the Civil War, for example, salted pork and beans were an example of what was consumed. As history moved into WWI and WWII, rations were introduced to separate the food into smaller portions such as C-rations. Later, around the 1950s, Meal, Combat, Individuals or MCIs were introduced as an improvement over C-rations.
In 1981, Military Meals, Ready-to-Eat or MREs were launched which were lightweight and required no heat. By the 1980s, specifically in 1981, Military Meals, Ready-to-Eat were launched. Military MREs are typically not sold commercially to the general public. Civilian Meals, Ready-to-Eat is the substitute for everyday citizens. Today, there is virtually no difference between Military MREs and Civilian MREs other than the packaging. You can find more about MRE history here.
MRE Meals for Sale for Emergency Situations and Natural Disasters
The world is a beautiful place, but sometimes it is hit with natural disasters and other emergency situations. Unfortunate events such as tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, forest fires, world wars, and more can create conditions where citizens have no way of acquiring or preparing food for survival. People who prepare for emergencies, such as preppers, can store MREs in their basement or other climate-controlled areas if an unfortunate situation were to happen. Emergency personnel uses MREs to deliver to people whose lives are in danger due to disasters.
MRE Meals for Sale for Camping and Hiking
Campers and hikers have found that MREs solve many problems when it comes to bringing food and drink on a hike. When a hiker brings traditional food and drinks choices on a walk, they have to deal with weighing down their packs. A successful hike includes hiking with a bag that carries no more than 30 pounds as a rule. Bring too much food, and a hiker is sure to go over the 30 pounds. Let’s say a hiker chooses to locate a place to buy food while on a hike. This could prove to be an inconvenience for a hiker and can take away from the experience. Traditional choices have to be stored and prepared in conventional ways. A hiker would need to ensure that food didn’t spoil. They would also have to cook the food over a flame, such as a campfire, or over a grill, for examples. Some hikers choose to pack hiking stoves and fuel, but this method presents potential challenges as well. To avoid concerns about spoilage or cooking, a hiker may rely on things like granola bars, or packages of nuts. However, these are designed as snack foods and not as foods intended to sustain you for a well-balanced meal or meet a person’s daily dietary needs. MRE meals for sale solve all of these issues. Because they are packaged lightweight, a hiker can carry more than one in his or her pack. Because each MRE has all of the vitamins and minerals that a hiker needs, they will sustain a hiker for the entire day. Also, if a hiker chooses to heat up the MREs, it can be done with a flameless ration heater.
What is a Flameless Ration Heater?
Civilian Meals, Ready-to-Eat are created to eat as they are. You only open a pouch and enjoy the food. However, many people may prefer to eat such meals warmed up. These are not meals that require cooking over a stove or a flame. The easiest way to warm MREs is with a flameless ration heater. It is a heater that needs no fire and does not produce carbon monoxide. It can also be safely and ecologically disposed after use. The heaters are comprised of powdered magnesium metal, iron, and salt. With just a few ounces of water added to the heater, a process known as oxidation-reduction is created. Water poured into the flameless ration heater creates up to approximately 100 degrees Fahrenheit in as little as 10 to 15 minutes. Therefore, a hiker, for example, could pour water from a water bottle into the heater. Or, he or she could use some other source such as water from a lake, snow or rainwater. The water that is put into a flameless ration heater does not have to be clean. This makes it even more convenient for a hiker or for someone who does not have access to clean water.
Where Can You Buy MRE Meals for Sale and What Do You Get?
There are various kinds of Civilian MREs to purchase. A typical full MRE will include a main dish, side dish, and a dessert. It will often include a snack, such as crackers and a spread. Beverages are included such as coffee with creamer as well as an electrolyte beverage mix. Other items included with an MRE are salt, pepper, sugar, utensils, napkins, wet wipes and a flameless ration heater. Again, keep in mind that military MREs are typically prohibited from being sold to the public commercially. Therefore, it’s important to pay attention to labels for any company that is claiming to sell official military MREs. When purchasing Civilian Meals, Ready-to-Eat, you may be informed of exactly what is inside a meal pack, or you may be given a general idea. Not every company who sells MREs to the public can give you an exact description of what the contents are, but MREs followed a general construction as listed above. In addition, some companies offer vegetarian options.
MREs can be purchased from a variety of sources:
The Internet remains the place to find most things online. There are a variety of sellers who specialize in Civilian MREs. You’ll find the most comprehensive selection online, and you will often find the best prices online. However, in most cases, you’ll need to factor in shipping unless free shipping is offered. When choosing a seller, pay attention to the reputation of the companies. The best way to do that is to read consumer reviews.
Buy from Brick and Mortar Locations
The two main brick and mortar options for MREs is at army/navy surplus stores and outdoor sporting goods stores. The advantage of these options is that you can examine your product on the spot without having to rely on the information you’ve received online. The disadvantage is that you’ll need to travel to such a store and once you get there the selection may not be extensive. Also, the price of these MREs may be higher than online, even with shipping factored in.
Buy From eBay and Craig’s List
Purchasing MREs from sites such as eBay and Craig’s List should be done with extreme care. The price may be attractive, but it is imperative that you trust the seller. For example, you may be purchasing from an unscrupulous party who is selling you MREs that have long since expired from their expiration date. Or, you could be sold MREs that were left out in extreme conditions, making them spoil before their expiration date. It is possible to have a positive experience from these sites as long as you take the time to do your research on the seller and on what is being offered.
Choosing a legitimate seller either online or at a brick and mortar location are the ways to have a satisfactory experience when purchasing MREs.
Tips on Civilian MREs
1. MREs are high in calories because they were originally designed to sustain soldiers who did not have access to traditional food. One full Military Meals, Ready-to-Eat has enough calories to sustain a soldier for a day while out in combat. Civilian MREs involve the same concept. They are high in calories, therefore, consuming more than one and no more than two a day can be hard on the stomach and other organs and can lead to weight gain. Hikers should keep bottled water in their pack to compliment MREs and to stay hydrated.
2. Take care in protecting the shelf-life of MREs. Never store them in extreme heat or extreme cold. They should always be stored in a climate-controlled environment to maintain their shelf-life. Never store an MRE in the trunk of your car, for example. These are not intended to be emergency kits for traveling in a vehicle. Pay attention to the expiration dates. Most MREs have a shelf-life of approximately five years. After the expiration date, the meals should be tossed, and new meals should take their place.
MRE meals for sale continue to improve over the years. Today, there are more options and more variety than ever before. These meals are unique and are intended for convenience and emergency situations. They are not designed to replace traditional forms of meals and nutrition. Meals, Ready-to-Eat are an alternative to dehydrated and freeze-dried varieties. Although the self-life of MREs is less than freeze-dried and dehydrated meals, they do not have to be activated with liquid, and the packaging retains the texture and flavor of the meals throughout the shelf-life. Consumers may choose full MREs, or they can purchase specific meals, such as dinner MREs or snack MREs.